British Team Chess Challenge 2024

ECF Team Chess Challenge National Final – Saturday 20th April 2024

A record eighteen schools descended on King Edward VI School Aston in Birmingham on Saturday 20 April for this year’s national final of the ECF British Team Chess Challenge. Teams came from across the country with players travelling from Kent, Lancashire, Northumberland and Devon, as well as others with shorter journeys.

The chess tournament started after a lunch (kindly provide by KE Aston) with five rounds being played at a rate of play of 10 minutes with a 2 second increment. With this rate of play the arbiters, Chris Howell, Venkata Kilambi and John Bowley were kept busy with time scrambles and illegal moves! The winner of the tournament is determined by game points, rather than match points, and so with every encounter counting the result of every board was important. It also can result in the leading teams meeting early in the tournament. So it was in round 2 that the top two seeds fought a close match before the reigning champions, Wilson’s School, beat King Edwards School (Birmingham) 2.5 to 1.5.

The competition continued to be close until Round 4 when Wilson’s School, beat Dulwich College 4 – 0 whilst the remaining top matches were much closer. Entering the final round Wilson’s only need a single point to win the tournament but they completed a fifth straight win, over Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Bristol). King Edwards School beat Highgate School to come second.

Full results can be found at

Place School Game Points Match Points
1 Wilson’s School 17 10
2 King Edwards School 13,5 7
3 KEGS 12 7
4 University College School 12 6
5 Queen Elizabeth Hospital 11,5 7
6 The Cathedral School 11,5 5
7 Highgate School 11 6
8 Liverpool Blue Coat School 11 5
9 Dulwich College 10 5
10 Bolton School 10 4
11 Sevenoaks School 9,5 6
12 King Edward VI Aston School 9 4
13 Exeter School 8,5 4
14 Carre’s Grammar School 7,5 2
15 Bristol Grammar School 7 4
16 North Liverpool Academy 6,5 4
17 Redland Green School 6,5 2
18 Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School 6 2

British Team Chess Challenge is a competition open to any British school with pupils in any of years 7 to 13 (English year groups). Each team taking part consists of four pupils who attend the same school and are in year 6 or above. Team Chess Challenge has been developed as a chess tournament which ALL secondary schools might like to enter.

The structure of Team Chess Challenge is that regional events will be held on afternoons during Autumn Term 2022 and Spring Term 2023. The winning school at each regional event will qualify for the one day National Final. The host school will decide the details of the regional event. Typically at each regional event, between eight and sixteen teams will participate. All schools can enter two teams, with the host team having the option of a third team in order to have an even number of teams. Schools can enter more than one regional event but players in a winning team cannot play in a subsequent regional event that season. 

The regional event is normally organised as an afternoon tournament lasting between two and three hours. The typical rate of play is 10 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. Most event will have four rounds with each round lasting about half an hour. Swiss pairings will be used so that in the later rounds, the leading teams play against each other, and similarly the weaker teams play each other. Every point scored will count towards the team total, so a team winning 3-1 would score three points, and the losing team would score one point. The winning team is the one that scores the most points (out of 16 in a four round event). The host school can decide the starting time of their regional event, which may be during afternoon school or after school has finished. The principal aim of the regional final is that large numbers of school teams enjoy playing chess. The production of a winner to play at the National Final is an important subsidiary to this main aim. Sometimes schools who are runners-up at a regional event are also invited to the national final.

There is no entry fee for the tournament, but the host school may make a small charge for the provision of the refreshments, and possibly trophies, at the regional events. Games are not graded unless the local organiser wishes to do so, and there is no requirement for your team players to be members of any chess organisation.

If you have any questions about British Team Chess Challenge then please contact the national organiser Neill Cooper

Sevenoaks School
Tuesday 28 November. 4:30 – 7pm
Contact: Miss Y Yin Email:
Winners : Sevenoaks School
12 teams played

St. Thomas More High School, Southend
Friday 12 January 2024 start 4.15pm
Contact: Jason Vitone Email:
Winners: King Edward VI Grammar School Chelmsford
8 teams played

Bristol Grammar School
Monday 29 January 4.00 – 6.30pm
Contact Graham Iwi Email:
Winners: Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Also qualified for final: Bristol Grammar School, Redland Green School
36 teams played

David Nieper Academy, Derbyshire
Monday 29 January start 4.00pm (in parallel with the U13 competition)
Contact Alistair Doohan Email:
Winners: Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School
5 teams played

Nottingham High School
Tuesday 6 February 4.30pm – 7.00pm
Contact: Ed Jones Email:
Winners: Carre’s Grammar School
8 teams played

Harrow School 
Friday 23 February 2pm
Contact: James Hall Email:
Winners: Highgate School
Also qualified for final: University College School
22 teams played

Torquay Boys Grammar School
Tuesday 6 February 2023 at 2pm (in parallel with the U13 competition)
Contact: Tim Onions Email:
Winners: Exeter School
8 teams played

Wilson’s School, Croydon
Tuesday 5 March 4pm – 6.30pm
Contact: Ryan Stobie-Jones Email:
Winners: Wilson’s School
Also qualified for final: Dulwich College
11 teams played

West Midlands Qualifier at Solihull School
Friday 8 March – 4 rounds from 5.00pm – 7.00pm (in parallel with the U13 competition)
Contact: Alex Holowczak Email:
Winners: King Edwards School
13 teams played

Bolton School
Tuesday 12th March start at 1pm
Contact: Paul Costello Email:
Winners: Bolton School
8 teams played

Wales Qualifier
Sunday 17th March – Welsh schools only
Contact: Kevin Staveley Email:
Winners: The Cathedral School, Llandaff
13 teams played

North Liverpool Academy
Wednesday 20th March 11am – 4pm
Contact: Peter Fardey Email:
Winners: North Liverpool Academy
Also qualified for final: Bluecoat School
20 teams played

The National Final
The National Final will be on Saturday, 20 April 2024 at King Edward VI Grammar School Aston, West Midlands, B6 6DJ. Further details in due course.